Give our traumatised troops a round-the-clock
helpline, demands the first female soldier to kill in
combat who saved scores of her wounded comrades as a
medic in Afghanistan.As a female soldier, I was never supposed to get involved in close-quarter combat – until the day I shot dead a Taliban fighter at close range. While serving as a senior medic, I treated dozens of horrifically wounded soldiers from the battlefields of Helmand.Today, the anguished expressions of those injured troops remain etched in my memory and I still feel guilty about those we couldn’t save. Yet for all of that, I don’t suffer from any mental or emotional disorder. I am one of the lucky ones.Lucky because in the past ten years the numbers of troops diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has almost doubled and more than 400 serving soldiers have taken their own lives since 1995 – most recently another Afghanistan veteran, Warrant Officer Nathan Hunt, of the Royal Engineers.